ST. PAUL, Minn. – Richard Park had the go-ahead goal and two assists against his old team, leading the Vancouver Canucks past the Minnesota Wild 5-3 on Friday night.

On an assist from new linemate Markus Naslund, Park fired an uncontested wrist shot from the back of the left circle that got past goalie Dwayne Roloson early in the third period.

Naslund, Anson Carter and Ryan Kesler also scored for the Canucks, who came back with a spirited effort after a sluggish, embarrassing 6-0 loss here to the Wild here two nights ago.

Watching his team get outshot 41-13, Roloson made 36 saves for Minnesota. After Roloson was pulled with one minute left, Vancouver’s Todd Bertuzzi found a wayward puck, broke free and scored into the empty net.

Vancouver coach Marc Crawford mixed up his top lines, moving the struggling All-Star Bertuzzi back with Kesler and Matt Cooke, and grouping Park with Naslund and center Brendan Morrison. Whether the changes had anything to do with it or not, the Canucks clearly had a much stronger attack than they showed their Northwest Division rival on Wednesday.

They held a 13-1 shots advantage in the first period and hung on during an active second period while the Wild came to life – scoring three times. After Wes Walz’s backhander tied it at 1, Pierre-Marc Bouchard chipped in a power-play goal midway through the period.

Minnesota’s defense went soft for a while, letting Naslund score on a wraparound and Kesler score on a breakaway to give the Canucks a 3-2 lead. With 45 seconds left before the intermission, though, Brian Rolston sent a power-play slap shot into the back of the net to tie the game again.

Though the regular season is barely one week old, the Wild brought the NHL’s best penalty kill (26-for-27) into the game. Vancouver quickly took them down a notch, taking a 1-0 lead early in the first on Carter’s unassisted score with a one-man advantage.

Willie Mitchell tried to clear the rebound of Carter’s first shot, but didn’t get a clean hit on the puck – allowing Carter to snag it and score.

Notes: Minnesota C Todd White was scratched because of a thigh bruise. … Bertuzzi, reinstated by the NHL this season after a suspension stemming from his much-maligned hit on Colorado’s Steve Moore, has only one assist in five games.

AP-ES-10-14-05 2242EDT


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